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Japanese is a difficult language to learn because of it has one of the most complex character systems in the world. Japanese writing is mish-mash of three different systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. This, in addition to using Arabic numbers and Roman letters at times. Learning words is also challenging. Whereas an fluent English speaker can get by with roughly 3,000 words, Japanese speakers need to know 10,000. But even an average Japanese magazine will use 30,000. The State Department gives students three times as long to learn Japanese compared to French or Spanish.